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Montague girls golf in contention for second-straight state title (roundup)

Wildcats one shot behind leader Lansing Catholic in Division 4, while across the street Whitehall’s Karli VanDuinen sits third in Division 3.

Photos by Blair Moreau

The 336 score that Montague’s girls golf team shot in day one of the Division 4 state finals Friday at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers East was only two strokes from tying a school record.

It left the Wildcats sitting in second place – and they don’t mind at all. They feel as though they’re in a good position to defend their state championship.

Montague trails Lansing Catholic (335) by one shot entering Saturday’s second and final round. Being well within striking distance is all coach Phil Kerr and his Wildcats could ask.

“No surprise we played well. The girls have been waiting all season for this and were extremely focused all week,” Kerr via text message. “Easily our best week of practice.”

Across the street, Whitehall senior Karli VanDuinen sits third individually after the first round of the Division 3 state finals at Forest Akers West.

Here are more details from Friday’s girls golf state finals tournaments at various locations:

DIVISION 4 AT FOREST AKERS EAST

Montague senior Gabby Moreau

Balance helped Montague stay well within striking distance of a second-straight Division 4 state title entering the second day of competition at Forest Akers East.

The Wildcats shot 336 as a team Friday – only two shots from tying a school record they set Sept. 27 at Forest Akers West — and sit one shot behind day-one leader Lansing Catholic (335). Jackson Lumen Christi sits third (348), followed by Chippewa Hills in fourth (355).

Saturday’s second round of the Division 4 state finals begins at 10 a.m. at Forest Akers East.

“I would’ve taken this score in a heartbeat this morning,” Kerr said. “We knew it was going to be close with Lansing Catholic and now we basically play straight up, heads up, tomorrow. It should be a classic.”

Senior Gabby Moreau led the Wildcats with an 8-over 80. She was followed in scoring by sophomore Mackenzie Goudreau (82) and seniors Orianna Bylsma (86) and Claire Meacham (88).

Lansing Catholic was led on day one by senior Sailor Somerville, who carded a 77. Senior Amanda Melling had an 80 for the Cougars.

Michigan Center’s Kamryn Shannon fired a 2-under 70 to sit atop the Division 4 leaderboard following the first round. Ann Arbor Greenhills freshman Mia Melendez sits second after an even-par 72.

DIVISION 3 AT FOREST AKERS WEST

Whitehall senior Karli VanDuinen earned medalist honors at the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association golf tournament for the third time in as many chances Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, at Stonegate Golf Club in Twin Lake, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Whitehall senior Karli VanDuinen shot a 6-over 78 in the first round of the Division 3 state finals Friday at Forest Akers West to sit alone in third place entering day two. Her Vikings squad sits in 12th place after shooting 389. Spring Lake is 11th (388).

Sophomore Ava Garcia shot 92, followed by freshman Grace McDowell (105) and senior Chloe Essebaggers (114) to round out Whitehall’s top four scorers.

Lutheran North sophomore Lauren Timpf fired a scorching 6-under 66 to top the leaderboard, followed by Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Ava Wisinski in second with 76. Freeland freshman Averie Pumford and Cranbrook Kingswood senior Natasha Samsonov are tied for fourth at 79.

Cranbrook Kingswood shot 344 as a team to carry an eight-shot lead over Lutheran North into Saturday’s second round. GRCC is third at 353, followed by Grosse Ile fourth (356) and Grand Rapids South Christian fifth (357).

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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